Thursday, September 28, 2006

BRIGHT NEW DAY......

here are photos of the morning sun rising , I thought I would share it with you…
Each day brings with it new beginnings, hopes and aspirations …
We should look forward to the day with a positive attitude….
Let me give you some pointers which I found while going through some great books….



God , grant me the serenity to accept
The things that I cannot change,
The courage to change the things that I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
- The serenity prayer


It is not the things around us
Which matter, but our attitude
Towards things.
-MARCUS AURELIUS

People search for happiness outside
Of themselves. That is a mistake.
Happiness is something you are,
It evolves from the way you think.
-anonymous.

SUKHE BHENDYACHE BHAJI....



This is my mother in laws speciality , and the favorite of my son and hubby.
i always believe that each person has a special touch for what he prepares , only when it is prepared with genuine interest and love.
My mother in law cooks very well and whatever she does , it always almost tastes the way it did the last time. There is lots of consistency in the cooking and that makes the dish perfect, hence in our house , there are certain dishes which , inspite of knowing how to cook, i have never tried cooking them and the reason being that whenever i make it in the same way,same ingredients , same method it will never taste the same, so i prefer that the person who is an expert at cooking that dish should do it and see the family relish it.
this bendi bhaji is very simple but tastes great when my mother in law prepares it .


INGREDIENTS.

300 gms bhendi chopped into medium pieces (you can see the way i have chopped it)
1 tbsp coconut for garnishing.
oil
mustard seeds,
hing or asafoetida
curry leaves
green chillies
1/2 tbsp sugar
salt to taste

METHOD:

heat oil in a pan. add the mustard seed when they splutter add hing green chillies and curryleaves.

add the washed ,dryed and chopped bhendi to it.

do not add water or they will stick to each other.

cook open ,do not cover for sometime,

when the bhendi are semi cooked add the sugar,salt and grated coconut.

bhendi should be just cooked not over cooked.

the vegetable is done

This vegetable goes very well with hot fish curry .

Sunday, September 24, 2006

BUTTER CHICKEN MAHEK ISTYLE.....

BUTTER CHICKEN

500 gms boneless chicken cleaned.

INGREDIENTS FOR MARINATION
1 cup yoghurt or hung curd.
2 tsp red chili powder
if you add kashmiri chili powder for colour then add one tsp hot red chili powder extra
1 tsp haldi powder
1 tsp garam masala powder.
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp each
1 tsp vinegar
1tsp pepper powder.
Salt to taste.


FOR THE GRAVY
Two onions
Three medium sized tomatoes
1 tsp each ginger garlic paste
½ cup soaked cashew nuts.
4 kashmiri red chillies soaked
1tsp haldi.
½ tsp sugar,
salt to taste.
1 tsp kasoori methi
finely chopped coriander for garnishing.


METHOD:
Marinate the boneless pieces of chicken which are cut into small cubes , with all the above ingredients for marination and keep for about 1-11/2 hours.
Take a heavy bottom pan add some oil and then add the onions.
After they turn soft add the ginger garlic paste., stir and let it leave its wonderful
Aroma.
Add the tomatoes and again stir, wait till the whole mixture leaves oil.
You can now add the chili powder,haldi powder, garam masala powder and stir.
add a little water.
Grind together the soaked red chilies and the cashew nuts.
The above mixture thickens the gravy.
Add it to the gravy.
Add salt sugar and let the gravy boil.
Add kasuri methi,and the coriander leaves.

FOR THE CHICKEN: while the gravy is being done, cook the chicken on the other stove
Cook the chicken till the whole gravy becomes dry and the chicken gets cooked . if you have a grill you can grill the chicken pieces and then add them to the gravy.
And let the whole mixture boil for sometime till it gets ready.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

GANESH CHATURTHI CELEBRATION IN OUR SOCIETY........

GANESH IDOL IN OUR SOCIETY

Our society celebrates GANESH CHATURTI by placing a Ganesh idol within an elaborately decorated pandal.I wanted to share some of the snaps I had clicked at that time , but just forgot about it so now you can see the beautiful Ganapaty idol that was with us for 10 days.

PRASAD- SWEET SHEERA
In our society people are very enthusiastic about the Ganesh Chaturti celebrations and you will see ladies carrying delectable dishes which are distributed as “PRASAD” after the evening aarti is complete. The prasad is done with lots of love and interest ,hence each one of them is tasty .we get at least 10 types of prasad during one evening and they vary from homemade,storebought to fruits and sweets.


OFFERINGS FOR LORD GANESH

YOU CAN SEE A DEVOTEE PERFORMING AARTI


KIDS


Each one is a veteran at something and this is an opportunity to share your expertise with one and all. kids wait in anticipation to have the prasad that will be distributed , of which they get the greater share . The atmosphere in the pandal is pure, with fragrance of essence sticks, smoke from the diyas, lit all over and off course lots and lots of flowers.
With bhajans praising lord Ganesha being played and sung by devotees.

Now after reading so much you must be wondering what I must have prepared as PRASAD . let me tell you that every year I make sweet sheera which is served at pujas all over western part of India.
When this sweet sheera is done for satyanarayan puja . you have a fixed proportion which has to be followed but for giving as prasad I can make whatever I like so I made this sheera with my usual proportions like the one which I make at home habitually.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups rava or semolina
13/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup water
cardamom powder
cashew nuts, raisins , almonds (all are optional ).
Ghee for roasting the semolina and also for pouring on top after the whole thing is done.
Saffron strands (optional)

METHOD.

1.take a thick bottom pan and put ghee into it
2.roast the rava or semolina till it changes colour and becomes light brown.
3.take it out on a plate
4. in the same pan add water, milk,cardamom powder and your dry fruits
5. you can pour in the sugar at this stage or after the semolina.
6. add the roasted semolina and stir till thick.
7. drizzle lots of ghee on top before serving.
You can also pour saffron strands soaked in warm milk just the way I have.



GREEN COCONUT CHUTNEY ........

This is a favorite chutney in my house. usually green chutney's are made of coriander,mint,green chillies,ginger and lemonjuice and thats what is used for sandwiches . but we being goans and goans having lots of homegrown coconut in their house (offcourse in goa- not in mumbai, i have to buy my coconuts). The goan chutney is altered to suit the raw material ready at home .



INGREDIENTS:

One cup coconut grated
2 green chilies
½ cup coriander leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
marble size ball of tamarind
salt
½ tsp sugar.

METHOD:
Very easy, just grind all the above ingredients with minimum amount of water .
Your chutney is ready . its is a very delicious spread for bread sandwiches.
In the picture you see I have used a loaf of garlic bread which I toasted in an oven and
Then spread the chutney.
I use this chutney with jowar,bajra and nachini bhakri (these are thick rotis which are very healthy , bhakri is prepared daily in villages to provide the hard working farmers the robust meals that they need after a hectic day in the fields.
We make it here in cities too but once in a while . but they are nutrition packed.
I will do a post on the bhakri and show you how they puff up on a gas stove.
In villages a bhakri is done on a chulha or a fire which is lit using wood sticks .
This chutney is very versatile you can even have it with fried fish it tastes yummy!!
You can have it with snack items like crispies and khakras too…


Monday, September 18, 2006

START OF A BRIGHT NEW DAY....

I always start my day by making a wholesome tiffin for my son.. as his tiffin is his breakfast which he eats at 10.00 at school .
i feel, and as nutritionist say "have breakfast like a king , lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper" . i see to it that our breakfast is wholesome and nutritious . To break the monotony of the 'bread-butter-jam' breakfast i see to it that i make something different on all seven days of the week,sometimes it so happens that i do not repeat the same thing for about 10-12 days.
but thats all fun and it gives you the enthusiasm to look forward to do something every morning.


I start MY day with a hot cup of coffee and a must have everyday for me are the above biscuits
are butter biscuits which we get from a local bakery they are light and delicious i wont say nutritious but it has become a habit to have these butter biscuits or the toast biscuits and so i have them everyday . I have my breakfast at around 9.00 with my husband.


MOONG DAL DOSA


BABY MINI PIZZA


NUTRI -SANDWICHES


IDLI SAMBHAR


MEDU-VADA SAMBHAR CHUTNEY

These are only few things that i make ...some of the regulars are poha, upma, shevyacha sanja, chutney sandwich etc.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

MORE OF PUNE.



Whenever I visit some place , for me food is the first thing that I want to explore but along with that I love to observe the roads, the architecture of the buildings and the local people. As I have said before I was in pune only for a day and a half so I got very little opportunity to search for interesting food joints or to click lovely or traditional pune houses or places.
But I would love to share with you as much as I could click in just 2 hours that I had free.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

VENDORS IN PUNE.....

I was in Pune only for a day and a half i.e. I landed in Pune at 10.00 and left Pune at 6.00 the next day. For a person like me this was very little time to get to know the culinary world of Pune . I was staying with my relatives and as it was Ganapathi festival we had to be present in the house and visit other homes too. I got about 2 hours at my disposal for browsing around and clicking some food vendors to share with you, but I promise the next time I am in Pune I will click more pictures so that you get a glimpse of the cuisine of Pune.

GUAVA SELLER


BANANA SELLER


So here are some food vendors who I found standing outside the famous food landmark of Pune “CHITALE”.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

SECOND DAY OF GANESH CHATURTHI IN PUNE....

The second day in Pune was the GANESH VISARJAN day, my vaini, Medha vaini was up early in the morning to prepare the days meal which was completely different from that served the day earlier . I was astounded to see the speed at which she went about her daily activities , I think that having Ganapaty at one’s house gives one the strength to do
Beyond ones capabilities and with full enthusiasm.
Goan meal has lots of spices, onions, garlic, ginger etc but during Ganesh Chaturti days food should be cooked without onions,garlic,and ginger. Hence it becomes more difficult to plan a menu which should be balancing at the same time tasty and she did it with great expertise.
Breakfast in the morning was poha but poha with green peas and without onions.


For lunch we had
RUSHICHI BHAJI – this is the most important item of the meal this is a mix vegetable which is extremely nutritious as it contains leafy vegetables along with many other vegetables (I will be giving you the recipe).
KELYACHE RAITE-(banana raita) – contains yoghurt with sugar and pieces of ripe banana added at the time of serving.
SHEVYACHI KHEER-(vermicelli kheer)-
MIX VEGETABLE BHAJI-(vegetable fritters)
DAL – BHAT –(dal bhat)
CHAPATIS-(wheat flour rotis)



BANANA RAITA


SHEVYACHI KHEER


MIX VEGETABLE FRITTERS


RUSHICHI BHAJI


PRASADACHE THALE

The meal was excellent , and I thoroughly enjoyed it for the efforts and the earnestness with which it was done


Sunday, September 03, 2006

CHATURTHI CELEBRATIONS IN PUNE..........

I spent this weekend i.e. of Ganesh Chaturthi at Pune which is a hub of Ganapaty festival. It was at pune that lokmanya Tilak first started the “sarvajanik ganesh utsav”.

GANAPATY IDOL AT MY AUNT'S HOUSE
I went to my aunts house who worships Ganapathy and celebrates ganesh chaturti for 11/2 days i.e brings home an idol which is immersed after
11/2 days,
This was the first time that I was celebrating ganesh Chaturthi in pune.
It feels different in Pune than in Bombay, I cannot explain why I felt that the celebrations were different from those in Bombay but they were different and both had their own sweet charm. MODAK

GUAI reached Pune at around 10.00 am and reached my aunts house at 10.30 hoping to help my sister in law i.e. my cousins wife with the food preparations but I see that all the food was ready by 10.30 . so I helped her make some patolyo the recipe for which you will find here while she did the ukadiche modak ( rice flour preparations stuffed with coconut and gur).
During this time you cannot taste the food that you prepare you can eat only after the food is offered to the Ganesh idol which we bring home.
Food was yummy let me give you the menu
1.moongachyo gatti (moong in gravy)
2.kakadi ane kalevatane tonak
3.vatanyachi usal
4.varan bhat (yellow lentil)
5.guava raita (simple- guava, curd,sugar,salt)
6.ukadiche modak and patolyo
7.chapatti
food was very tasty, and remember !!!! nothing was tasted before it was served. so you can see the proficiency of the lady of the house to be able to get up in the morning manage all the household work and cook such good food without tasting a morsel. but all do this with lots of enthusiasm which makes the mood in the house very jovial A RAITA

I reached Pune at around 10.00 am and reached my aunts house at 10.30 hoping to help my sister in law i.e. my cousins wife with the food preparations but I see that all the food was ready by 10.30 . so I helped her make some patolyo the recipe for which you will find here while she did the ukadiche modak ( rice flour preparations stuffed with coconut and gur).
During this time you cannot taste the food that you prepare you can eat only after the food is offered to the Ganesh idol which we bring home.
Food was yummy let me give you the menu
1.moongachyo gatti (moong in gravy)
2.kakadi ane kalevatane tonak
3.vatanyachi usal
4.varan bhat (yellow lentil)
5.guava raita (simple- guava, curd,sugar,salt)
6.ukadiche modak and patolyo
7.chapatti
food was very tasty, and remember !!!! nothing was tasted before it was served. so you can see the proficiency of the lady of the house to be able to get up in the morning manage all the household work and cook such good food without tasting a morsel. but all do this with lots of enthusiasm which makes the mood in the house very jovial

Saturday, September 02, 2006

GANESH CHATURTHI.....

THIS POST IS FOR MY NON-INDIAN BLOGGERS WHO WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT INDIA ,INDIAN FESTIVALS AND CULTURE.

I would now like to talk about the festival which is right now prevailing in full swing in India and that’s GANESH CHATURTI.

POOJA THALI

FLOWERS FOR GANAPATY
GANAPATHY (this photo is sourced from wikipedia)

Ganesha is a elephant-headed god of wisdom.

The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha has an elephantine countenance with a curved trunk and big ears, and a huge pot-bellied body of a human being. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth.
Ganesh ChaturthiThe devotees of Ganesha are known as 'Ganapatyas', and the festival to celebrate and glorify him is called GANESH CHATURTHI.
A life-like clay model of Lord Ganesha is made 2-3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. The size of this idol may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet.
On the day of the festival, it is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents for people to view and pay their homage.
Coconut, jaggery, 21 modaks (rice flour preparation), 21 durva (trefoil) blades and red flowers are offered. Steamed rice flour modaks stuffed with coconut and gur or jaggery is his favorite food.
Ganapaty immersion is done after one and half day, third, fifth ,seventh, and on the 11th day and sometimes on the 21st day.
Ananta Chaturdashi, On the 11th day-usually huge idols which are placed in the outdoor tents are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man. All join in this final procession shouting "Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya" (O father Ganesha, come again early next year). After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the idol to the river to immerse it.



THANKS TO ALL FELLOW BLOGGERS.....

SHORE TEMPLE -MAHABALEPURAM

THANK YOU ALL......

I have completed 6 months of blogging !!!!!!!!

The last 6 months have changed my life completely , I was always interested in cooking, food , knowing other cultures and making friends but did not know how to go about doing it on a wider scale. I was absolutely unaware of the existence of blogs till Feb 2006 ,to be precise till 26th Feb. 2006 , I read about blogs in a magazine supplement which is included with a Sunday daily newspaper. And since then I have been hooked , it feels so good to be a part of the blogging world and I have managed to make some wonderful like-minded friends (which are a very rare find) not only from India but also from other countries .

Blogging has become a very important part of my daily routine and its like an addiction I have to sit at least for an hour a day to unwind and rejuvenate I read a lot and that helps me know what my friends around the world are cooking their festivals and the places they visit. There are so many countries which I may not be fortunate enough to visit. But through my fellow blogger I can see the wonderful food and the countryside and oh !!!!! my favorite FARMER MARKETS .
ON THIS OCCASION I THANK ALL THE BLOGGERS WHO ARE ALL SO WONDERFUL AND WHO ARE WILLING TO SHARE A BIG PART OF THEIR LIVES THROUGH THEIR BLOGS, WITH US .